Paul Merrill Memorial Fund

The Paul E. Merrill 4-H Memorial Fund was established as a memorial to Paul E. Merrill who died in April, 1982. Mr. Merrill firmly believed in the merits of the 4-H program and in the character-building qualities of learning to care for and raise livestock. This fund is a splendid way to carry on the beliefs of Mr. Merrill and in doing so, encourage youth to grow in character and ability as Mr. Merrill had done. It is designed to provide financial aid for projects from the interest of the account to 4-H livestock clubs or 4-H members with livestock projects.

Deadline: May 1 and November 1 of each year

Mail all applications to:

UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County
Attn: 4-H
75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104
Falmouth, Maine 04105

Directions for Applying: Any 4-H livestock club or 4-H member participating in a large livestock project is eligible to apply for money from the Paul E. Merrill Trust Fund. A steering committee reviews the applications and distributes the funds. Grants are generally given twice a year, in spring and late fall. It is recommended that the project be cost-shared with the 4-H Club or member and other sources of funding, in the case of a large request.

Grant applications should reflect an itemized budget, listing all costs (total cost) of the project is requested.
EXAMPLE: Club would like to make a slideshow about animal husbandry:


  • Film: $50.00
  • Development: 80.00
  • Rental of slide projector: 10.00
  • Travel to take pictures: 20.00
  • Overnight: 60.00
    • TOTAL COST: $230.00
    • Club Raised: $130.00
    • Request from Paul E. Merrill Fund: $100.00

When a grant is received, the 4-H Paul E. Merrill Fund Steering Committee requests a report of how the grant was used. The report can be in writing, oral, or even a poster with photos of the project.


Guidelines Used in Consideration of Approving Grants by the Paul Merrill Memorial 4-H Trust Fund:

The following are guidelines used by the Paul Merrill Fund steering committee in determining their decision to grant or deny a request presented to them. Each request is considered individually on iitsown merit.

1.How long club has been in existence.

  1. We do not normally grant a request from a one-year club. We want to be assured the club is committed to the 4-H program
  2. How many members the club has
  3. Are the majority of these members actual Cumberland County residents?
  4. When was the last time we granted a request from that particular club?

2. We have not granted requests for clothes from individual members or by a group. It is considered by the committee members that clothes will be available for use for other times then 4-H functions and therefore should be purchased in another manner.

3. We do not approve requests for permanent structures on a 4-H Leaders property. (See Section 4 of the Trust Agreement)

4. We ask the club and or individual to pay for ½ of the request. This is to provide the club and or individual with a feeling of ownership of the request and to enable financial understanding of the bequest.

5. We discourage annual requests from an individual club or member. For example, the committee helped fund the horse groups clinic two years with the understanding that after the second request, they must develop ways in which to own the event.

6. At the time of the request, the individual or club is asked to indicate how the fundingof this request will benefit, them, their club, and 4-H in Cumberland County? (See #2 of the application)

7. At times the committee will consider County wide requests to be funded in it’s entirety. For example, we funded the livestock scales that are housed in the Show Ring at Cumberland Fair. We funded the purchase of a portable speaker system, which is housed at the Cumberland County Extension Office. We funded remodeling the top story of the 4-H Hall for Livestock members to use as a changing area. We funded the purchase of the buzzer board for County use in Quiz Bowl contests. These are considered on an individual basis.

8. When an individual 4-H member makes a request for funds scrutiny must be given to each request to ensure precedence is not established for future requests. The following are some of the items the committee is looking for when a request is received but in no way is the considerations limited to these items:

  1. The individual 4-H member must show a long-term commitment to the program. (Benchmark of 5 years is used)
  2. Active involvement in the program
  3. Well rounded 4-H member
  4. must directly relate to animal husbandry as stated in original trust agreement (Item 3, section b) Being a member of a livestock club does not automatically ensure approval. The request must directly apply to the livestock project. i.e.:  Funding a trip for a livestock club member to CWF would be declined as it does not directly or indirectly relate to animal husbandry. For the same member funding, a trip to a Junior Livestock Show would be considered as this directly relates to animal husbandry.
  5. Attend a personal interview with Paul Merrill steering committee upon request
  6. The grant will be no more then half of the final cost of the request, depending on the funds available, to a maximum of $400.00

9. If an individual requests the Paul Merrill fund to finance an animal all items in section 5 must be considered along with other stipulations.

  1. A dollar limit will be set at ½ the cost of the animal, depending on funds available, to a maximum of $400.00 regardless of the cost of the animal.
  2. The 4-H member will show the animal in local 4-H shows & exhibitions.
  3. The 4-H member is asked to show how funding this project will benefit the entire livestock 4-H community in Cumberland County. (See item 2 on the application) Such examples might include but shall not be limited to the following:
  1. Donate half of the amount of grant back to Paul Merrill trust fund after the sale of the animal to ensure the continuation of a fund for other 4-H members.
  2. Donate an offspring of an animal that was purchased to another 4-H member.
  3. Make a financial or material contribution to their respective 4-H club or to another 4-H club with a greater need to reflect they have understood the generosity bestowed upon them from the Trust Fund.
  4. Allow another 4-H member an opportunity to lease an animal from your family herd.

10. The committee is open to granting requests for handling and show equipment such as clippers, grooming chutes, yokes, etc. This is usually done as a club request versus individual request. By giving the supplies to the club, a wider base of 4-H members is able to utilize the equipment.

11. The committee is open to granting requests for group trips when they are animal husbandry related.

12. The Committee has declined requests for educational literature as they feel this is a function of the Cooperative Extension.

As stated at the beginning these are guidelines not rules. The committee considers each request individually and approves or rejects such request on the information and amount of funds available at the time of the request.